Hurricane Fiona take out Puerto Rico’s electrical system

Grethel Aguila

Miami Herald

On Sunday afternoon, Fiona elevated its status from a tropical storm to a hurricane. Since then, Hurricane Fiona has left millions without power and an island flooding.

Here are some of your questions about the hurricane answered.

How is Fiona impacting Puerto Rico?

Hurricane Fiona, which made landfall at about 3:20 p.m., toppled Puerto Rico’s fragile electrical system Sunday afternoon. Millions of Puerto Ricans are without power while the island is under a flash flood warning.

The hurricane, which is moving at almost 8 mph, will likely be a two-day storm. Officials believe restoring power service could take several days.

Fiona may produce 12 to 18 inches of rain in Puerto Rico, according to the National Hurricane Center. That figure may reach 30 inches in the southern and eastern regions.

The NHC is urging the public to stay indoors in light of life-threatening flooding. Areas of higher terrain may also experience mudslides and landslides.

Fiona hit Puerto Rico nearly five years after Hurricane Maria killed thousands and devastated the island’s infrastructure.

READ MORE: Millions without power in Puerto Rico as Hurricane Fiona causes ‘catastrophic’ floods, authorities say

Where is Fiona heading next?

Despite 85 mph winds, Fiona will more than likely strengthen, according to the NHC. The hurricane is projected to move from Puerto Rico’s southwest coast toward the Dominican Republic.

The NHC expects Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas will experience tropical storm conditions by late Monday or early Tuesday. Fiona may curve toward Bermuda later into the week.

Will Fiona affect Florida?

Fiona might impact Florida as the storm makes its way into the Atlantic, National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Garcia said.

The storm may increase swell, which in turn, causes rip currents, Garcia added. Fiona may also cause beach erosion and higher waves, which can be an issue for mariners.

Though it’s still too early to tell, Fiona may also affect South Florida’s daily weather pattern.

The region currently has an area of low pressure that has been contributing to daily downpours, Garcia said. If it pushes east, it can steer Fiona farther away from Florida.

“We may see the rainy pattern calm down a little bit, maybe closer to normal for South Florida this time the year,” he said.

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